The South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM) has gifted the cockpit and forward fuselage of Gloster Meteor A77-851 – aka ‘Halestorm’ – to the Royal Australian Air Force.
CAPTION: The cockpit/forward fuselage of the Gloster Meteor A77-851 ‘Halestorm’ aircraft to be restored by Air Force’s History and Heritage Branch. Story by Flight Lieutenant Karyn Markwell.
‘Hailstorm’ is significant because it is the aircraft in which Sergeant George Hale shot down a MiG-15 during the Korean War.
Director-General of Air Force’s History and Heritage Branch, Air Commodore John Meier, said Air Force was pleased to accept this significant historical fighter aircraft from SAAM.
“This generous donation highlights the great cooperation between the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian aviation museums in general, and SAAM in particular,” Air Commodore Meier said.
“History and Heritage Branch now intends to fully restore Halestorm before putting it on public display.”
Halestorm not only had a distinguished service career in Korea, but was also a pioneer aircraft for emerging technologies.
Following the war, RAAF converted Halestorm into a drone and used it to conduct aviation trials at Woomera.
Volunteers from SAAM later recovered and refurbished the cockpit/forward fuselage and put it on display for two decades.
President of SAAM Nigel Daw said they were proud to gift Halestorm to the Royal Australian Air Force so even more members of the Australian community would have the opportunity to see this aircraft and learn about its history.
History and Heritage Branch expects the Halestorm restoration – which will include merging the cockpit/forward fuselage to another Meteor – to take at least 18 months.
Another Gloster Meteor, RAF serial number VZ467, currently painted to represent A77-851 Halestorm as flown by Sergeant in George Hale in Korea, is operated by the RAAF 100 Squadron Temora Historic Flight at the Temora Aviation Museum.
CAPTION: RAAF No. 100 Squadron Gloster Meteor jet fighter during an aerial display in 2018 at Temora Aviation Museum. Photo by Corporal David Gibbs.